The Sounds have been crisscrossing the North American continent as the opening act of no doubt one of the largest reunion tours of the summer.
Sullywood managed to ask Felix Rodriguez (1/2 of the childhood friend duo) a few questions about touring with No Doubt, their new album, Crossing the Rubicon, and why there are so many bloody amazing artist pouring out of Sweden (case and point: our all time favourite gal, Lykke Li).
Read the interview below:
Your music is sometimes compared to New Wave... What are some of your biggest influences as a band?
I would say that it's the fans and people that we meet that inspire us the most.
We all have very different musical tastes in the band, but of course, we share some bands in common. But to meet and hear peoples stories is the biggest influence I would say, at least for me.
Some of our readers may remember Maja's brief presence in the supergroup "Cobra Starship" as the lead singer on the song "Bring it" from the movie Snakes On a Plane. How did that collaboration come about?
I think it was someone that was in the other bands that heard The Sounds, and liked Maja's voice. So they asked us if she wanted to be part of it... So, she went into the studio and recorded her part, and I have to say it sounds amazing to hear her sing on that track. Great job Maja!
You played a sold out show in Toronto in May, any plans to return to the city again?
We are coming back in the fall, and I CANT wait for that show. We had a great time there, and I know this time will be even better!!!
I first heard The Sounds through my Snowboarding friends. Why do you think you have such a huge following among "boarders" worldwide?
I would say it's probably because our music is very energetic. I have many friends saying that they are listening to us to get pumped up before riding their bikes or skateboard. I would probably do the same if I were into sports. I mean, it's a great way to prepare before a show or something you need energy for.
You have fans all over the world and some of them are big names: Tarantino, Grohl etc... Dave Grohl even wore a red Sounds t-shirt in the "Times Like These" video... what was everyone's reaction the first time you saw that?
I was blown away. I mean I was a big Nirvana and Foo Fighters fan when I was younger (I still am, I have to say). I remember I went to the old record lable office in the states and the record lable people were like, "Hey, there's a rumour that Dave Grohl's gonna wear your t-shirt in their new video." And we were like, "COOL!!!"
We thought it was going to be like 3-4 seconds or something like that... when I saw it, it was like... Damn, it's all over the video!! It was awesome... I didn't see that coming when I saw Dave Grohl banging the drums in the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video.
You're currently touring the U.S. with No Doubt. Any interesting stories from the tour so far?
Hmmm... I would say that it was pretty fun when they invited us up on stage to sing with them, that was great!! They are a great band and super friendly and down to earth. I love those guys...we have a lot of fun on tour with them.
What is the change like going from headlining your own shows to opening for a band like No Doubt in huge stadiums?
As a support act you play for thousands of people that have never heard you before, which is great because you get the opportunity to gain your fan base. To play your own show is different because there, everyone knows your songs and music... and as a support act you play a shorter set as well. You don't want to see a support act that plays for 1 1/2 hours, that wouldn't be much fun.
Do you prefer smaller venues?
I prefer both, it wouldn't be fun to just play small venues and vice versa. You need both!
The band's look certainly draws comparisons to No Doubt. Do you get to interact with them? Exchange style tips?
Ha...! Exchange style tips? Not Really... oh well maybe. I did tell the drummer that he looked awesome in the ballerina skirt he played in. He said, "Yeah? You think it looks cool?" I said, "FUCK YES. That's the best look I've ever seen!"
He still wears it now, so I don't know if that counts, I mean he had it before I mentioned it to him...but he still wears it!
A lot of great indie artists have been coming out of Sweden for the past few years (The Knife, Teddybears, Shout Out Louds, Lykke Li etc). What is it about Sweden that breeds such great original music?
Dunno...maybe the water? We do have a lot of practice places where you can rehearse when you are in school. I don't know if it is because of that though... I would say it's the water.
Your new album, "Crossing the Rubicon", was just released on June 2nd. The title track is very haunting and similar to The Knife. What influenced this title and song?
It is? I heard from my friend that it sounds like Coldplay!?
Well, neither of those bands were the influence when we did that song... they are both two great bands though. I remember we had something epic inside us when we did that song... it was late at night and we had it dark in the studio. Very "vibey", and chilled atmosphere. I love that song.